It's Time To Stand Up Against Bullying

Thursday, April 07, 2011

So since Saturday, the small community I grew up in has been rocked by two suicides and 1 attempted suicide. The first was an alumni of my school, graduating just one year ahead of me. The second was a 15 year girl in high school that by the looks of it was bullied to a point that she just couldn't handle it. Her death, although I do not know her or her family, has touched my niece and nephew because they are around her age and go to her school. It has sent me through a tailspin.

I grew up a janitor's daughter in a school that is considered the "Edina of WC Minnesota," in a class that was notoriously the cliquiest and nastiest group to step foot through those doors, and coming from this community, well, it says a lot. What's strange about this place, (at least in my class), was that it wasn't just one person doing the bullying. It was one rather large clique that enjoyed making everyone else feel like losers. They were good at it. Where I grew up, the largest class was about 170, so everyone knew you and your business. I'm going to give you just one of many examples of things they would do:

It was my senior year, and of course as seniors we are all supposed to love one another and become closer as we get ready to head off to college...or at least that was expected. I had a choice of graduating early, but decided to just go four hours a day and then work in the afternoons. My first "class" was study hall. I was sitting at my desk doing my work, when this really mean girl came and sat right in front of me. She was popular and elected to God knows what at that point, and had a list of all my classmates with her. She took a black marker and started crossing people off. Then she turned just so I could see what she was doing and crossed my name off the list. I knew what she was doing and boy was I angry. But I let her do it. I didn't confront her, because by this point in my senior year, my confidence had been brought down to non-existent. A couple girls came over to her and paid her 25 bucks for some t-shirt. A couple weeks later, on the same day, all my classmates started showing up with these senior shirts on, except a select few. Those of us that were crossed off the list were wearing our regular clothes. I remember seeing the hurt looks on people's faces. I remember seeing the shocked looks on the teacher's faces when they saw what happened. I also remember the smirks, laughter and whispering of those that chose to leave people out in the first place. Deep down, I was angry and embarrassed.

Now some may think that it wasn't a big deal. But we were made out to know we were the losers. Everyone knew everyone else. So when you walked down the 9, 10, 11, 12th grade hallways, everyone knew that you were left out. Everyone. You knew your place. That was just one example of the many things they did their senior year, and the problems I had been dealing with by the sixth grade. By the end of our senior year, fights were breaking out in class between the haves and have-nots. It wasn't a fun place to be.

Well, this suicide has managed to bring back a lot of bad memories that I have buried deep down. And as I was talking to my dad about it, I felt this uncontrollable urge to eat. Preferably, something bad for me. I had 1 serving of ice cream-no worries it was already allotted in my calorie count-before I realized what I was doing and stopped. After almost 11 years, I am still letting these girls get to me. These are the memories that I put away that are sabotaging me every single time I want to lose weight. I had no idea that I had let them hurt me the way they did. I still have some very hard feelings for a lot of my classmates for the things they pulled over the years. I feel sick when I see them walking in the store, refused to go to my 10 year reunion and pretend we were all friends, won't add most of them to my FB page, and secretly wish, (and yes I know it is wrong) that Karma would catch up with them. It hasn't.

So today, I cried for that poor 15 year old girl and her family and friends because of the pain she was in, and I cry for my own memories and hope that I can finally put it all behind me and move on. It's time. I won't let myself be bullied anymore, whether by people or memories. I end with this quote:

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog.

    We had bullying in my middle school and high school too. I always hung out with the 'losers' and I remember some of the popular kids would take the suspected gay kid and *toss him in the dumpster* (something that would be considered assault if it were done between two adults). I hope this isn't insensitive to say, but when Columbine happened, all I could think is while what they did was horrible, I understand it. Bullying is the dirty little secret that parents and administrators don't have the courage to address.
    2929 days ago
  • HARLOW10
    There was a three month span in my life that I was really confident, and it was my first three months at college. I was slim, I had awesome hair, and had managed to make a lot of friends even though I was shy. Every day I walked passed one of my classmates, and he kept pretending he didn't know me. So one day, I went up to him and said hi and forced him to talk to me. I remember turning around as I left, and he still had a shocked look on his face. It was funny.
    2936 days ago
    I was bullied in highschool and was pretty close to suicide several times. I even made an elaborate plan but I managed to pull myself out of the situation after two years. I credit God for that he was there for me when I had no one else. My situation was like yours. I was in the second highest class in the school and boy did they have some stinkers! I never found out why I was placed in that class, my grades were pretty average and I sucked at Maths, English and Science. I've always been good at writing and analysing things, drawing conclusions but I'm horrible at breaking down sentences and finding out how they work, writing an interpreting poetry- I think there were people in the lower classes that were alot smarter than me. Most of the year disliked or avoided me. It makes me sad because the people in my class were really smart and are destined for greatness, wealth and recognition and it a way it doesn't feel like they deserve it because they destroyed me and took a piece of me I will never get back.

    Why was that girl writing down peoples names on a list and crossing them off? Sounds like shes lacking a few social skills/braincells lol. I don't think you missed out by not being her friend.

    I have blocked out alot of things that happened when I was bullied because they were too painful. I still get nightmares sometimes and when I see the people in town I have panic attacks. I was in a movie theatre once and I saw a big group of them so I put sunglasses on. Lol it must have been pretty obvious, who wears sunnies inside? I wish I had kept an indepth journal at the time because sometimes I want to share my experiances but I can only remember little snippets, like being in a group in history and two people making me look like a homophobe by presenting a presentation saying ''God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve'' and throwing a banana at my head when I was trying to answer a question the teacher had given us. Those were two pretty minor incidents it was alot worse than that. I think if I had kept a daily log I could have brought the bullies to justice. It seems like the bullies always wins, they have more charisma, and the teachers are more likely to believe a group of people when they are up against one people even if they are psychopaths and liars.

    Nice quote at the end.
    2936 days ago
    Reading your account of what happened brought back memories of almost the same thing that happened to me and their was a gang that picked on me until I was in a bad car accident and did not go the last year but had to be schooled at home that the school sent to my home to teach me so that I could graduate.
    2936 days ago
    i hope that by talking and putting it out here that you are able to move past the hurt.
    2937 days ago
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